Republicans Reeling After Big Loss in Pennsylvania

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) and likely Democratic opponent Jason Crow

In 2016, Donald Trump carried Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District by nearly 20 points over Democrat Hillary Clinton. A mere 16 months later, a massive political shift appears to have delivered a new House seat for Democrats.

As the Washington Post reports:

Republicans scrambled Wednesday to explain what happened in Pennsylvania, as a Democrat stood on the verge of a monumental win in a U.S. House special election that became a test of President Trump’s political clout.

While the race was still too close to call, Democrats were declaring victory as their candidate, Conor Lamb, clung to a narrow lead over Republican Rick Saccone in a district the president won by almost 20 points…

…House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) tried to reassure his party that it would be difficult for Democrats to replicate their success in Pennsylvania across the country.

“This is something that you are not going to see repeated,” Ryan predicted.

Ryan’s post-special election bravado is surely designed to make Republican incumbents feel better, but there’s no way to sugarcoat the danger for the GOP in November. There are 119 House seats currently held by Republicans that are thought to be more competitive for Democrats than Pennsylvania’s 18th district. As Chris Cillizza notes for CNN:

This southwestern Pennsylvania district should have never been competitive — or even close to competitive. This is not a swing district. It is not even a Republican-leaning district. It is, based on past presidential performance and congressional level results, a comfortably Republican seat.

And if comfortably Republican seats like Pennsylvania’s 18th are competitive in this sort of national environment — an unpopular president in the White House, Democratic base voters fired up over the prospect of sending Donald Trump a message — then there are a whole lot of GOP members of Congress who need to start worrying this morning. [Pols emphasis]

According to the Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voting Index (PVI), Pennsylvania’s 18th district has a PVI rating of R+11, which is a basic measure of how the district has performed compared to the rest of the country in recent Presidential elections. In Colorado, only two incumbent Republicans reside in districts with a better PVI rating (R+14 in CD-5, and R+13 in CD-4).

Based on these numbers, Rep. Scott Tipton (R+6) and Rep. Mike Coffman (D+2) should be very nervous about their re-election chances. Of course, Coffman has beaten these odds before — Hillary Clinton carried CD-6 by 9 points in 2016, and Coffman still defeated Democrat Morgan Carroll 51-43 — but Coffman has never faced headwinds quite like those that are brewing in 2018. In late February, a poll showing Democrat Jason Crow with a 5-point lead on Coffman was the first public poll that has ever found Coffman in second place in CD-6.

Conor Lamb’s victory in Pennsylvania completely flips the script for Republican in another metric: Republican campaign committees and Super PACs outspent Democrats by a better than 5-to-1 margin and still couldn’t hold what should have been a safe Republican seat.

The blue wave is coming.

Jon Caldara Has Thousands Of Reasons To Lie To You

AP’s Nick Riccardi reports a fact that probably won’t surprise you:

Denver Public Schools this week decided to reject charitable grants from the NRA, but there’s another Denver-based organization that’s eager for them — the conservative Independence Institute.

The libertarian-leaning Independence Institute is one of the top recipients of charitable NRA grants, according to an Associated Press analysis of the NRA Foundation’s public tax records. The think tank received $241,000 from the foundation in 2016, the last year for which data is available. The institute reported receiving a total of $2 million in grants and donations that year.

The size of the Independence Institute’s grant is large enough to make Colorado the state with the fourth largest amount of NRA charitable donations, with $293,000 in grants. That places it only behind two much larger states — California and Texas — and North Carolina, home to Speedway Children’s Charities, which has received the largest NRA donation at $425,000.

In 2013, Colorado became Ground Zero in the nation’s long debate over gun policy when we passed a set of landmark gun safety laws in response to the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado in July of 2012. The Independence Institute led the fight against those bills, which culminated in the video you can see above–Jon Caldara warning his supporters that if the bill to limit magazine capacity were to pass, “almost all guns in Colorado will never be able to get a magazine again.” Unfounded hyperbole like Caldara’s helped work Colorado gun owners into a low-information frenzy, leading to two successful recall elections against Democratic Senators in swing districts and a third resigning from office before she could be targeted.

And then within a year, once gun owners realized they could still buy all the guns and magazines they wanted and the sky had not fallen, Democrats retook both seats they lost in 2013. Colorado’s common-sense gun laws remain on the books, and are starting to look like models of their own to other states and even federally as the issue of gun violence nationally has caught up with Colorado’s unfortunate experience.

As for Jon Caldara, he has no credibility–but the NRA’s money cushions the blow.

Anyway, next time you see Caldara or his “Second Amendment expert” Dave Kopel running interference against the next proposal to reduce gun violence, remember that they’re on the gun lobby’s payroll in a big way.

Colorado conservatives lash out at students who advocate for gun safety laws or plan to walk out of class tomorrow

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Last month, after students from Parkland, Florida began speaking out for gun safety laws in the wake of a massacre at their high school, Denver conservative radio host Randy Corporon went on the attack, calling the students “manipulated damaged children” and “brainwashed Florida teenagers” and accusing “the left” of “seizing on this tragedy and weaponizing these children against the rights of fellow American citizens, and against a political party, and against an organization like the NRA.”

“[The students] have no idea what they are doing,” said KNUS 710-AM Corporon on air Feb. 20. “They’re being manipulated by these leftists. This is the war for our civilization that I talk about.”

“If you listen to these speeches, that are very well read by these students, it’s very difficult for me to believe that these students wrote many of these speeches and statements themselves,” Corporon explains.  “They do not sound like 14-year-olds or 15-year-olds. Or even 16-year-olds or 17-year-olds…”

“It is their teachers. It is the leftists that are in their lives, could be their parents…

“These kids should be with their families, with their friends. They should be going through the mourning process. They shouldn’t be drawn in to this political turmoil, this political whirlwind that’s going on right now, but they’re in it. And we cannot let them seize the day and own the conversation.”

With students across Colorado set to walk out of class tomorrow to support of Florida teenagers and advocate for gun safety laws, I asked Corporon if he stood behind these comments–or if he’d changed his mind, or possibly tempered it, after seeing how the students, many of whom studied debate in school, have organized themselves and expressed their views.

“No, I don’t feel any differently about it than I did at the time, and you can re-quote me and re-affirm what I said,”  Corporon told me, adding that he still opposes tomorrow’s walk out, in part because “we’re just making kids targets with no protection whatsoever.” “If my kids were in school still, they would not be participating in any walk out. That’s for sure.”



Dave Young: I’ll Divest From Gun Makers As Treasurer

Rep. Dave Young (D-Greeley).

A press release from Democratic Colorado Treasurer candidate Dave Young last week announces a policy change he’s advocating with regard to the state’s Public Employees Retirement Association funds–getting PERA out of investments in firearms manufacturers:

Today in Denver, Rep. Dave Young spoke out against the news that over $1 million of Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) investments are held in gun and ammunition companies.

Representative Dave Young said, “As State Treasurer, I will work to divest any PERA investments from the gun industry. We must stop gun violence and mass shootings. That is why I have worked to pass improve background checks, limit magazine sizes, and keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of criminals. PERA should not invest in businesses that directly or indirectly put our children’s safety at risk.”

Directly after the Columbine High School massacre, Rep. Mike Coffman pushed to increase PERA’s investments in major gun and ammunition companies like Ruger and Smith & Wesson. Current State Treasurer, Walker Stapleton, has since not commented on these investments. In 2013, Rep. Young voted to limit magazine sizes in a statewide effort led by Democrats to make our schools and streets safer.

Dave continued, “As a math teacher for 24 years, I am PERA member and know just how important PERA is. Not just to me but to thousands of Colorado teachers, firefighters, police officers, and public servants. As Treasurer, I will fight relentlessly to defend PERA.”

The firearms industry is by all accounts consistently profitable, which would make it natural choice for institutions looking for a stable and reliable investment. In recent years, the gun industry has seen demand for its products soar with a news cycle frequently punctuated by mass shooting events that stoke fear of imminent wholesale losses of gun rights–leading to panic buying with no relationship to any other economic indicator.

The problem, of course, is that all this gun money is not being made in a vacuum. And whatever factors drive the buying and selling of guns in America, the economic value of the guns themselves is no longer society’s most important consideration.

Besides there are plenty of less-lethal but still profitable investment vehicles, like casinos or booze.

Get More Smarter on Tuesday (March 13)

The Denver Broncos have a new quarterback, and it’s not who you thought it would be. It’s time to Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.




Rex Tillerson is out. Mike Pompeo is in. The New York Times tries to make sense of the latest White House carnage:

President Trump on Tuesday ousted his secretary of state, Rex W. Tillerson, extending a shake-up of his administration, 14 months into his tumultuous presidency, and potentially transforming the nation’s economic and foreign policy.

Mr. Trump announced he would replace Mr. Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director and former Tea Party congressman, who forged a close relationship with the president and is viewed as being more in sync with Mr. Trump’s America First credo.

Mr. Tillerson learned he had been fired on Tuesday morning when a top aide showed him a tweet from Mr. Trump announcing the change, according to senior State Department official. But he had gotten an oblique warning of what was coming the previous Friday from the White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, who called to tell him to cut short a trip to Africa and advised him “you may get a tweet.”…

…At the C.I.A., Mr. Pompeo will be replaced by the current deputy director, Gina Haspel, who will be the first woman to head the spy agency. Both she and Mr. Pompeo would need confirmation by the Senate to take the positions.

And the hits keep on coming:

If it’s any consolation, at least this Tillerson aide wasn’t taken outside and shot. We think.


► Longtime Trump aide and personal assistant John McEntee was apparently fired and escorted from the White House on Monday because he is under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security for serious financial crimes. Or, perhaps, because he was no longer needed until we roll back our clocks in November:

In his role in the White House, McEntee did tasks such as giving the president messages and making sure the clocks were correctly set for daylight saving time.


 Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) still won’t comment on his non-denial about placing a “hold” on legislation intended to tighten up background checks for people trying to buy a gun. 


► Republicans are terrified about losing a special Congressional election in Pennsylvania today. As Politico explains, the GOP is already jettisoning its “tax cut” message:

Republicans backed away from their signature tax-cut law in the final days of a closely watched special House election in the Pittsburgh suburbs — even though it’s the very accomplishment on which they had banked their midterm election hopes.

Instead, GOP groups that once proudly declared the tax law would be the central fight of the midterms are now airing ads on so-called sanctuary cities and attacking Democrat Conor Lamb’s record as a prosecutor as they try to drag GOP state Rep. Rick Saccone over the finish line in Tuesday‘s election.

The strategy shift has been dramatic…

…If the tax law isn’t a reliable vote-winner, it means Republicans may have to find different midterm messaging to go along with a consistent wave of attacks linking Democratic candidates to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The Pennsylvania race will mark the second major contest of the cycle, following the Virginia governor’s race, where Republicans abandoned a tax cut-focused message to hammer a Democrat over immigration and crime.


Get even more smarter after the jump…


Johnston, Right-Wing Ed “Reform” Groups Celebrate Ruling

Michael Johnston.

Chalkbeat Colorado’s Melanie Asmar reports on a court ruling this week that went against public school teachers and in favor of Denver Public Schools administrators enforcing a landmark 2010 “teacher effectiveness” law that has split Democrats for years–and remains a thorny issue during the ongoing Democratic gubernatorial primary:

The Denver teachers who challenged a landmark state law that allows school districts to put certain experienced educators on unpaid leave lost their cases Monday.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled against the educators, who sued Denver Public Schools in 2014 alleging that the state’s largest district violated their rights to due process. Some of the teachers had lost their positions in schools and failed to get re-hired by a principal within a set period of time, which led the district to put them on unpaid leave — a move the teachers argued amounted to getting rid of them without cause or a hearing.

The district argued it was simply following a 2010 state law, known as Senate Bill 191, that changed the rules for teacher evaluations and assignments. The law allows teachers who lose their positions because of circumstances such as student enrollment declines to be put on unpaid leave if they don’t find new positions within 12 months or two hiring cycles.

The Colorado Education Association voiced its displeasure in a strongly-worded statement:

Colorado educators are very disappointed by this pair of unreasonable decisions that strip away rights of experienced educators at the expense of our students’ success. It’s baffling that during a time of teacher shortage, when we know teacher pay and working conditions do not stack up to the demands of the profession, that our courts would discard employee due process rights that provide teachers a small measure of protection against arbitrary actions. Today’s decisions sweeps those protections away to the detriment of our schools and the students they serve.

The proponents of Senate Bill 191 explicitly asserted that they were not repealing the due process rights of experienced teachers, yet that is what the Court decided to do today. The CEA will take our fight for teachers due process rights back to the legislature to fix an education system that continues to operate with serious flaws to the detriment of our schools and students. We need to keep the focus of evaluation where it belongs – improving the professional practice of teachers and the public education experience for Colorado children. Colorado’s well-documented teacher shortage has causes rooted in economics; however, we can’t ignore the consequences of SB-191 in draining teacher morale and agitating career dissatisfaction. [Pols emphasis]

But who else had something to say about yesterday’s ruling, you ask?

Gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnston, a former educator and state senator who sponsored Senate Bill 191, said in a statement that “we all share the same goal: to do what’s right for Colorado’s kids.”

“With today’s decision,” Johnston said, “we can move forward in that spirit and work together to improve achievement for students across the state.”

Mike Johnston was backed up in Asmar’s story by Ready Colorado, a conservative education policy organization described as “small group of well-established Colorado Republicans…aiming to make education reform a top priority for the GOP again.” While the chicken/egg order of origination isn’t clear, Johnston’s “teacher effectiveness” bill is now model language at the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for use by conservative lawmakers in other states. At the same time, SB-191 has been widely blamed for contributing the shortage of teachers in Colorado–and also for driving out qualified instructors who simply don’t want to have their intelligence insulted.

With all of this in mind, what you have here is a “victory” that Johnston won’t be celebrating–at least not during a Democratic primary. Arguably Johnston’s biggest achievement in the Colorado General Assembly, there’s little to suggest eight years later that this legislation has done anything other than increase enmity between teachers and administrators and turn qualified candidates away from the profession.

Congratulations, Mike.

Tillerson Tweeted into Oblivion

Not anymore

As the Washington Post reports:

Rex Tillerson spent a tumultuous year at the helm of the State Department, frequently undercut by the president he disagreed with on key foreign policy issues and derided by many of his employees who blamed him for marginalizing their role and diplomacy itself.

But after months of denying he intended to resign, Tillerson was ousted Tuesday just as he seemed to be hitting his diplomatic stride. In recent weeks, he grew even more outspoken in his criticism of Russia, more confident that his patient pressure on North Korea was bearing fruit and seemingly more comfortable that he would outlast his many critics in the West Wing.

In the end, no one was more surprised that Tillerson was fired than Tillerson himself. As recently as Monday night, while he was in the air flying back from a week-long trip to Africa, an aide said Tillerson was staying put…

…“The secretary did not speak to the president, and is unaware of the reason,” said Steve Goldstein, undersecretary of public diplomacy for the State Department. [Pols emphasis]

The Secretary of State, fired via Twitter.

Tuesday Open Thread

“The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”

–George Orwell

Adams County Republicans Signal Change at Caucus

The Colorado Times Recorder took a look at some straw poll results from recent Republican caucuses, and the numbers are quite fascinating. We were particularly interested in the straw poll results from Adams County, which has traditionally been one of the swingier counties in Colorado.

Obviously, the big surprise is that Steve Barlock has the clear lead among Adams County Republicans in the race for Governor. Barlock is the heavy favorite (33%) among Republican candidates who are seeking access to the Primary ballot via the state assembly, followed by Greg Lopez (18%). Attorney General Cynthia Coffman checks in with a meager 4% of support among Republican caucus-goers.

The Coffman name in general is not especially well-liked according to these figures. Congressman Mike Coffman is a distant second to challenger Roger Edwards in this straw poll. These numbers are probably not indicative of the mood of all Republican caucus-goers, but they may not be too far off the mark; remember that in 2016, an unknown Republican named Kyle Bradell came this close to getting his name on the Primary ballot by winning 26.1% of delegates at the GOP CD-6 assembly.


On their Facebook page, the Adams County Republicans also included “votes” from online polls that were available on the County GOP website, but we’re not including those numbers here because…well, they’re online polls.

Colorado Republican Party Makes Last-Minute Hotel Switch Because of NRA

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Colorado Republican Party has decided not to hold its multi-county assemblies at the Best Western Hotel in Longmont, “due to recent news of Best Western pulling their support from the NRA and our 2nd Amendment rights.”

In an email announcement about the Republican State Convention, to be held April 14 at CU’s Coors Events Center, and the multi-County Assemblies, scheduled for the day prior, the State party, which is officially called the “Colorado Republican Committee (CRC),” wrote:

We have had many voice their concern over the multi county assembly location due to the recent news of Best Western pulling their support from the NRA and our 2nd Amendment rights. With this in mind along with other factors, the CRC has decided to pull our business from the Best Western Event Center and have changed venues for the Friday, April 13th multi-county assembly meetings. The Centennial Dinner and all Friday (April 13, 2018) meetings have been moved to the Hyatt Denver Tech Center.

“Thank you, Chairman Jeff Hays!” said the Jefferson County Republican Party in response to the decision to abandon the Best Western.

The Colorado Republican Party did not immediately respond to my question about what the “other factors” were in deciding against the Best Western–and whether there had been any opposition to the decision to switch locations.

The state GOP wrote that it was “recent news” that Best Western had pulled support from the NRA, but Best Western “ended any association with the NRA in 2014,” a representative told Business Insider last month. The move came after the Sandy Hook massacre.

In response to gun-safety activists who were calling in February for a boycott of Best Western due to its connections to the NRA, the hotel furiously tweeted that it doesn’t have an affiliation with the pro-gun organization, though Business Insider reported that Best Western was offering discounts to NRA members as recently as 2016.

The move from the Best Western in Longmont to a hotel in the tech center for Friday’s county meetings will surely be inconvenient for Republicans, who are holding their state GOP convention in Boulder on Saturday.  Longmont is in Boulder County, while the tech center is a half hour south of Denver. Republicans may have already booked hotel rooms near Boulder.

Uh Oh, Betsy DeVos

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

As CNN reports, the White House is not at all pleased with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos following a disastrous series of television interviews:

White House officials were alarmed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ struggle to answer basic questions about the nation’s schools and failure to defend the administration’s newly proposed school safety measures during a tour of television interviews Sunday and Monday, according to two sources familiar with their reaction.

Though DeVos was sworn in to her Cabinet position 13 months ago, she stumbled her way through a pointed “60 Minutes” interview with CBS’ Lesley Stahl Sunday night and was unable to defend her belief that public schools can perform better when funding is diverted to the expansion of public charter schools and private school vouchers. At one point, she admitted she hasn’t “intentionally” visited underperforming schools.

“I hesitate to talk about all schools in general because schools are made up of individual students attending them,” DeVos said, as Stahl suggested that DeVos visit those underperforming schools.

Things worsened as DeVos continued her cable television tour Monday morning. The White House released its proposals for school safety measures after a shooting in Florida killed 17 people. Part of the proposal includes a task force to examine ways to prevent future mass shootings, headed by DeVos. Though the proposals don’t include raising the age limit to purchase firearms from 18 to 21 — as President Donald Trump once suggested — DeVos told Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s “Today” show that “everything is on the table.”

DeVos is no stranger to mucking up interviews, either with reporters or Members of Congress. DeVos’ confirmation as Secretary of Education was nearly derailed early last year after she appeared to be unable to answer some fairly basic questions and infamously said that guns in schools were a good deterrent for grizzly bears. DeVos ultimately made it through her confirmation hearings thanks in part to the support of Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) and a tie-breaking vote from the Vice President.

DeVos might have reason to worry about her job if not for the fact that there is already a 43% attrition rate in the Trump administration.

Post Follows Up After Gardner “Doesn’t Deny” Blocking Gun Safety Legislation

(Click here for more on Gardner’s “Face The Nation” interview — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Denver Post took time to extract the actual newsworthy information from Sunday’s Face-the-Nation interview, featuring U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), instead of simply transcribing the main topic of the senator’s appearance on national TV.

The news, which came at the end of an interview focused on North Korea, was, as The Post’s headline stated, “Cory Gardner doesn’t deny blocking a bipartisan effort to improve gun-purchase background checks in TV interview.”

In contrast, CBS4’s news-free headline read, “Gardner on North Korea Relationship: Hold China Responsible.” CBS4’s piece, like the Hill’s and not surprisingly the Washington Times’, failed to mention Gardner’s repeated refusals to answer questions about his alleged decision to block a proposed bipartisan law to help force federal agencies to accurately document the criminal histories of gun buyers.

The Post not only reported Gardner’s newsworthy gun-question dodge, but also tried (and failed) to get a clarification from Gardner, provided background on the issue, and noted Gardner’s recent statements on gun issues (urging a focus on mental health care, not guns).

Related: In radio interview about how to respond to the Florida massacre, Gardner doesn’t utter “gun,” “rifle,” “firearm,” “bump stock,” “magazine,” or any related words

The important interview, illustrating the secretive tactics used to stop gun-safety legislation, was mostly ignored nationally and locally.

The Post reported that Gardner “did not deny that he put a hold” on the gun-safety bill.

From The Post:

The Colorado Republican, interviewed on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” said he has concerns about the measure that has broad bipartisan support in the Senate over what he describes as “due process issues.”

“This isn’t a issue of whether you like this or not,” he said. “It’s a question of constitutional rights and protecting the people of this country, protecting them from harm …”

“So, you are blocking the bill for now?” moderator Margaret Brennan interjected.

Gardner continued, “… and, and making sure we’re protecting people from harm and making sure that we get this right, and if there’s a constitutional issue at stake then that should be worked out.”

Harassment Scandal Makes Grantham’s ‘Stache All Droopy

With his one-seat Republican majority in the Colorado Senate receiving daily unwanted attention as the Colorado General Assembly’s sexual harassment scandal continues to escalate, Senate President Kevin Grantham’s Old West pointy mustache–a recent fashion upgrade for the once-frumpy lawmaker–has gotten much more exposure than we expect the honorable Senator from Cañon City ever intended:

The above photo was taken in happier times, before the harassment allegations against numerous sitting lawmakers including at least three Republican Senators began to dominate the headlines from this year’s legislative session. Contrast that to today, in a photo released by Senate Republicans, in which we find President Grantham’s whiskers have gone…for lack of a better word, flaccid:

It would appear that Grantham’s bristles no longer stand erect now that Democrats in the House have expelled one of their own members for harassment and Grantham’s inexplicable running of cover for offenders in his own caucus has worn disastrously threadbare.

Whether the metaphor was intentional or not, it fits perfectly. Let’s all keep our pointy bits safely stowed.

Yes, Hick Might Someday Maybe Wannabe President

President? Yeah sure maybe.

The Denver Post’s politics page reports, and no it’s not the first time you’ve heard it, and no it’s not the last time you’ll hear it either before in the event that it becomes a thing:

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is taking steps toward a presidential run in 2020, holding meetings with veteran political players, ahead of a visit to Iowa next month for an official trip that is sure to draw attention.

The Democrat’s actions in recent months signal to his closest associates and top party strategists that the former Denver mayor and two-term governor is more serious than ever about mounting a White House bid against President Donald Trump.

“John’s sense of timing in politics is his lucky star. It served him well when he ran for mayor and then governor. It may do the same for a run in 2020,” said Alan Salazar, Hickenlooper’s former chief political strategist.

Because we have addressed this possibility for as long as it’s been an item of speculation–in fact long before anybody seriously imagined Donald Trump becoming President of the United States besides Donald Trump–we’ll spare readers another long-winded rundown of the pros and cons of Gov. John Hickenlooper running for President in 2020. The short version is that Hickenlooper has led a relatively charmed political life in Colorado politics as an unconventional and sometimes lovable oddball whose record is fairly moderate but generally pro-Democratic–with a few well-known blind spots.

With that said, whether Hickenlooper has what it takes to become the next Bill Clinton–and we mean that in all the good ways–or is more like the next Martin O’Malley in what we can expect to be a large field of Democratic presidential candidates for 2020, is not at all something we feel comfortable predicting at this point. There is a sense of wide-open opportunity for Democrats after Trump’s chaotic likely-only term in office, but how Hickenlooper’s sometimes clunky “post-partisan” brand fits into this emerging new matrix is anybody’s guess. We’re not ready to buy proverbial stock, but we surely wouldn’t rule him out.

If Hick does pull it off, we’ll be excited to host the first Oval Office edition of The Get More Smarter Show.